How Better DEX Benefits People + Performance: 3 Key Use Cases
Adopting a digital employee experience (DEX) solution delivers benefits for everyone in an organization, from the C-suite on down.
A DEX solution provides contextual insights and intelligent automation capabilities that allow an IT team to proactively detect and resolve security vulnerabilities and other IT issues. This improves IT operations and an organization's cybersecurity and compliance posture. Just as importantly, a DEX solution can improve work culture, employee engagement and performance, enhancing an enterprise's resilience and competitiveness.
Before I go through the use cases that support DEX adoption, let's look at just some of the problems that arise with a poor digital employee experience.
The dangers of bad DEX
Knowledge workers who use digital technology to perform job tasks face an endpoint management challenge an average of 919 times per year, or approximately 3.67 problems per business day. Moreover, whenever a user is distracted from a job task, it can take them up to 20 minutes to re-focus on the work at hand even after an issue has gotten fixed. All of this can have a domino effect on their performance and that of their teammates.
A high frequency of employee experience issues also hinders the performance of IT administrators. About 40% of employees reach out to the helpdesk each week to resolve digital problems. Some of those issues are minor but so repetitive they become excessively time-consuming for IT staff, driving up IT costs and reducing productivity.
And if employees seek help from their peers instead of experts, they may unintentionally worsen a problem and obscure the root cause. This can drive an endless loop of recurring issues.
So how can a digital employee experience solution help solve these problems? Here are key use cases where I've seen it can drive major improvements.
Poor DEX can contribute to digital burnout and disengagement, poor performance and workforce attrition.
Remediate IT issues before they impact performance
When Forrester examined the real-world ROI a company could see from using our endpoint management software, it found one area where there were significant gains was by deploying automated self-healing to detect and remediate DEX issues.
A digital employee experience solution with self-healing capabilities enables automatic remediation of endpoint issues without manual IT involvement, so all endpoints can run without disruption. The 2022 commissioned Forrester Consulting Total Economic Impact™ study found a three-year benefit of over $560,000 for organizations that deployed such a self-healing environment.
As one interviewee for the study explained:
By doing some of the self-healing — updating old profiles, rebooting computers if they haven’t rebooted in seven days, patching in the evening — that work has helped our end users become more productive because the computers are getting back some of the resources that were being hogged up before…There is a financial benefit to the end-user side because of every minute they are able to save.
The benefit to IT helpdesks? Automating the resolution of these issues (even before users realize they exist!) frees IT from having to address them.
Boost employee engagement and retention
I'm particularly passionate about talent retention because it's so critical to business success, and it's really linked to DEX.
Post-pandemic, 45% of employees told us they're facing more technical issues than before COVID. 49% of knowledge workers felt the digital tools and environment provided by their organization were frustrating, and 65% believed they would be more productive with better technology at their disposal.
Additionally, a quarter of them felt a lack of suitable tech to be a contributing reason for quitting their jobs. These figures are even higher among IT teams and the C-suite. Even so, 30% of IT leaders have no process or metrics at all in place for evaluating DEX, and 38% still rely on HR engagement surveys.
This lack of visibility into DEX is bad news, since good DEX supports employee engagement, which is vital to business productivity and profitability:
- Employees who are not engaged or who are actively disengaged cost the global economy $8.8 trillion in lost productivity in 2022, according to Gallup.
- Recent data found 45% of US employees were looking for a better position elsewhere, and almost 23% of US employees left their jobs in 2022.
- Even before the "Great Resignation," Gallup estimated poor retention was costing US companies $1 trillion per year.
Just 21% of IT leaders consider the end user experience to be the main priority when selecting new tech tools.
This is where a digital employee experience solution becomes essential. That's because it automates the process of gathering employee usage data and feedback so an organization can accurately assess its own DEX performance.
With contextual visibility into its digital environment in real time, it can capture intel and insights and focus on the most important DEX KPIs. Constantly gathering this data and analyzing it helps IT leaders quickly identify potential DEX issues. This allows you to calculate and eventually elevate the most important metric of all — your DEX score.
It's taken some time, but I've encountered more situations recently where IT departments are being brought into conversations with other teams, including Human Resources, to discuss the value of DEX in employee retention. HR and IT may be siloed on DEX issues, and there's an opportunity for synergy and collaboration to improve employee engagement and retention. More and more organizations are testifying about those benefits.
Another benefit? Better employee experiences can result in better customer experiences, which can have ripple effects on sales and profitability.
Let's also not forget how the tools used to improve DEX and HR service delivery can also make life easier for overburdened HR teams, too!
Foster cross-functional collaboration
Another sign of how companies recognize the need to improve employee experience is the growing number of senior management roles focused on employee experiences — whether called chief employee experience officers, chief workplace experience officers or even chief happiness officers.
Part of that job is about elevating DEX, because that solves a range of problems for the entire organization. We've already touched on how a digital employee experience solution can help with employee satisfaction and retention, benefiting HR. But better DEX drives other improvements for multiple departments and disciplines across an organization
At a recent Gartner IT Symposium, Chris Goettl, Ivanti’s Vice President of Product Management, discussed how to use technologies like this to reduce the friction between IT and corporate security teams. They often don’t speak the same language or gather the same data, but there are overlaps and they should be on the same page: They’re both interested in standardizing and automating processes, proactively detecting issues and and remediating them before they affect the organization.
A digital employee experience solution that can detect potential IT and security issues and make immediate remediation recommendations helps both these teams succeed in unison.
In another example, a digital employee experience solution can improve the job of the procurement team by giving visibility into what devices or apps are being productively used by workers — and which aren't. This informs decision-making about license renewals, hardware and software purchases, cloud services consumption and budgeting.
A digital employee experience solution is indispensible
Boosting DEX by adopting a digital employee experience solution drives across-the-board benefits, not only operationally but for cybersecurity. It also supplies the kind of seamless, from-everywhere work environment that employees find more satisfying and that some research indicates has made them more productive.
As Andrew Hewitt, principal analyst at Forrester sums it up in a 2023 blog post:
So while DEX may seem like a “nice-to-have,” it’s an absolute must, especially when degraded employee experiences negatively impact customer and business outcomes.
In today's business landscape, it's imperative to hold onto talented employees while maximizing their productivity, and a best-in-class DEX solution is key to making that happen.